Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), now known as Search Console, is an essential resource for any business that wants to optimize for search engines. GWT provides insight into what Google sees and offers a variety of data including which pages have been indexed, inbound links you have earned, and which keywords are driving traffic.
Before using GWT, you will need to verify with Google that you own the domain to the website. Google provides several different ways to do this, and once the verification process is complete, you should start to see data in your account within 24-48 hours.
The dashboard gives you an instant glimpse to the some of the most important information about your site. Each section contains different information that can help you.
The search queries section gives you insight into your website traffic and keywords. While Google Analytics offers surface-level data about traffic metrics and sources, GWT goes deeper by showing you the actual traffic potential of your website by outlining the number of impressions and rankings your website has gained. Maybe it is getting lots of impressions (defined as appearances in search results) for the keyword "bicycle accessories," but you aren't getting many clicks because it doesn't rank highly enough. This feature shows you areas where you can refocus your SEO efforts and grow.
Search queries has five different factors for you to consider:
The search queries section offers a "with change" feature that allows you to see how your site metrics have changed over time. If you have recently made any big adjustments to your SEO strategy, viewing data "with change" can indicate whether your stats are moving in a positive direction.
The search query section also allows you to click on keywords your website is ranking for, enabling you to see which pages are ranking for those terms. This will not only confirm progress for SEO rankings, it can also inform your content marketing strategy. When you know which pages are getting the most traffic, you make good assumptions about what consumers are looking for and what will convert them into customers.
By looking at "Top Pages," you can uncover the pages of your site that are getting the most impressions and clicks. This can be very useful for staying inside the mindset of the consumer. Sometimes they show interest in expected areas, offering you clues that you might be focusing on optimizing the wrong pages.
When trying to optimize product categories and pages for your website, GWT can guide your efforts by helping you better understand your SEO standings and the interests of your customers. You can improve campaign performance, find new opportunities in the marketplace and experiment with new strategies to drive conversions.